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For those interested: A follow up on my "scared flyer"

Flying Illini

Hit me Peter!
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As some of you know, I was to meet with a mentally handicapped person to try and ease his fear of flying. I was nervous going into this b/c I wasn't sure the extent of his handicap and I really didn't want to confuse him or scare him further by saying too much or saying something the wrong way. At the same time, I was really looking forward to the opportunity to share aviation with a non-flyer.
Jeremy showed up with a social worker who was very helpful and very nice. Jeremy and I sat down and began talking about his upcoming airline flight, where he was going "Phoenix, AZ" when he was going, if he was going with anyone "his fiance." And other things like that. I was a little relieved when it became apparent that though he had a handicap, it was not severe and he could carry on a conversation to a fair extent. What amazed me was his knowledge of things and how he would speak up and relate what I was saying to something he was familiar with before I could do so.
It turns out that his biggest fear (and apparently only fear) has to do with "air pockets." He was very excited about everything else and looked forward to maybe sitting by the window. He wanted to know how high airplanes flew, how long it took to get to "height (altitude)" and how fast planes went. We talked about turbulence and the causes of it...that seemed to really calm him down. He was worried about big drops and not being able to see the bumps before the plane hit them. We used the analogy of turbulence being like a bumpy road that you drive on on your car. He beat me, saying that as I was about to! After that, he was ready to go look at planes so we went down to the hangar and I showed him a Falcon 20. We got in, looked around. I was able to talk him into the cockpit. He didn't want to get in, but when I offered to show him how, he was ready to follow. He enjoyed that but didn't want to stay long. It was "too small". He began to get a little antsy in the small space. We went back to the cabin where he sat and looked out the windows at the wings. We talked about seat belts and other safety devices on aircraft and what he would see on the wing and hear during different phases of flight and taxi. He knew some stuff and said he watched planes all the time from his apartment near the airport. We walked around the aircraft and I showed him the ailerons, flaps, airbrakes, T/R's (and how after landing it may get very loud for a few seconds and why). He seemed to grasp much of what I was saying.
He seemed very enthused about his flight and he seemed to feel much better about turbulence after our talk/tour. We spent about an hour and it was well spent. During our walk back from the hanger, an F-18 did a flyby, then landed and taxiied in, parking on our ramp. The pilot was very accomodating and let Jeremy climb up the ladder and check out the cockpit and get his picture taken with him. As a side note, the pilot had recently returned from Iraq (in the gulf) after 7 months. We all thanked him and shook his hand. Then Jeremy said, "We're gonna get Osama Bin Laden!" The pilot smiled and said, "You bet!" That put an even bigger smile on Jeremy's face.

Anyway, that's my update. Things went well and Jeremy is looking forward to his flight, but still a little aprehensive about the bumps but he said he feels much better. I had a lot of fun doing this and it was even better when Jeremy said Thankyou and shook my hand and said he would let me know how his flight goes when he gets back.

My CP just called me and said that they Jeremy and his social worker (if that's the correct term) had sent me flowers!

FI
 

Flying Illini

Hit me Peter!
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nope, didn't see the -18 take-off...I'm sure he was showing off, he had some friends meet him at the airport...probably giving them a show.
 
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Flying Illini said:
Then Jeremy said, "We're gonna get Osama Bin Laden!" The pilot smiled and said, "You bet!"

Thats Awesome!


Thanks for filling us in, interesting! I was gonna make a smart @$$ comment about you getting it on with the social worker afterwards..........but I read what I quoted above.

Pretty cool day for that guy!
 

Vector4fun

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Kudos for taking the time Illini. Lots of folks wouldn't have ever bothered. Glad it went well.
 

Flying Illini

Hit me Peter!
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Metro752 said:
Thats Awesome!


Thanks for filling us in, interesting! I was gonna make a smart @$$ comment about you getting it on with the social worker afterwards..........but I read what I quoted above.

Pretty cool day for that guy!

ah, you can still make the comment, she was kinda cute! ;)
 

k_EAT=ho_ME

Closet User...shhhh!
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Nice job, man. Way to go the extra mile.
 

convair007

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Seriously nice job,

When I would give people airplane rides, you'd come across a few nervous people. So, I'd take them through the pre-flight and tell them what I was doing. But then for a joke I'd always give them a serious look and ask if they were nervous... When they said "yes", I'd keep that serios look on my face and reply, "Me too". Then I'd just walk away. I don't know I found it pretty funny.
 

cforst513

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glad to hear it went well. i have a mentally retarded uncle and my ex-g/f had a retarded cousin, and i am always grateful when people go the extra mile to accomodate them and help them fit in. good job, and thanks for your posts!
 
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